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Villar still richest among Pinoy billionaires
Villar, whose business empire has expanded since 2016 with bigger telecommunications and water businesses, has overtaken the usual crop of Spanish-Mestizo and Filipino-Chinese billionaires on the list and leads 17 tycoons in the country who made it to the latest Forbes global billionaires roster.
STAR/File

Villar still richest among Pinoy billionaires

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - April 11, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Real estate tycoon Manuel B. Villar Jr., the so-called brown taipan with a noteworthy rags-to-riches story, has gone a long way even in the country’s billionaire rankings, staying as the richest man in the country for the third straight year from only 12th place in 2016.

Villar, whose business empire has expanded since 2016 with bigger telecommunications and water businesses, has overtaken the usual crop of Spanish-Mestizo and Filipino-Chinese billionaires on the list and leads 17 tycoons in the country who made it to the latest Forbes global billionaires roster.

The Forbes’ 2021 Rich List, unveiled last week, saw 660 more billionaires compared to a year ago and with 86 percent richer today than last year, despite the COVID-19 global health crisis.

Forbes, which lists billionaires with a net worth of at least $1 billion, said this year’s richest people have a combined net worth $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion last year.

Topping the global list was Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who retains the top spot for the fourth consecutive year with a dizzying net worth of $177 billion, while Elon Musk rocketed into the number two spot with a net worth of $151 billion, up from No. 31 on last year’s ranking.

Bernard Arnault of LVMH remains at No. 3 with a net worth of $150 billion, followed by Bill Gates at No. 4 with a net worth of $124 billion. Rounding out the top five in this year’s ranking is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who is worth $97 billion, according to Forbes.

In the Philippines, Villar and 17 Filipino tycoons are on this year’s roster. The real estate tycoon is on the 352nd spot, with a net worth of $7.2 billion; Enrique Razon Jr., ports and casino tycoon, is in the 561st spot, with a net worth of $5 billion.

Lucio Tan, who has a diversified empire, is at the 925th spot, with a net worth of $3.3 billion.

Hans Sy, son of the late retail magnate Henry Sy Sr., is in the 1008th spot, with a net worth of $3 billion. His brother Herbert shares the same spot, also with a net worth of $3 billion.

Andrew Tan, who is into property, is in the 1008th spot as well, with a net worth of $3 billion.

Harley Sy, another son of Sy, is in 1174th spot, with a net worth of $3 billion.

The late retail magnate’s eldest son and namesake is also in the 1174th spot with a net worth of $2.7 billion.

Teresita Sy-Coson, the eldest daughter of Sy, joins them in the 1174th spot, with a net worth of $2.7 billion.

Another daughter Elizabeth is in the 1,299th spot with a net worth of $2.4 billion.

Tony Tan Caktiong and family, founder of Jollibee, shares the 1,299th spot, with a net worth of $2.4 billion.

Ramon Ang, who is at the helm of San Miguel Corp., is in 1,444th spot, with a net worth of $2.2 billion. Iñigo Zobel of the prominent Zobel clan in the 2141st spot, with a net worth of $1.4 billion.

Lance Gokongwei, the only son of the late John Gokongwei Jr., is in 2,378th spot, with a net worth of $1.2 billion.

Roberto Ongpin, upscale property developer, is in the 2,378th spot as well, with a net worth of $1.2 billion.

Ricardo Po Sr. and family of Century Foods Inc., is in the 2,524th spot, with a net worth of $1.1 billion.

Edgar Sia II, chairman of Double Dragon, shares the 2,524th spot, with a net worth of $1.1 billion.

The latest billionaires list counted a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires around the world, including 493 newcomers, which Forbes said, was “unprecedented by any measure, especially in a year in which large economies around the world were hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.”

MANUEL B. VILLAR JR.
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